You know, sometimes people can be more honest than they intend to be. I heard a story a long time ago that illustrates that fact. A man was hiding something from his wife, but his secrecy backfired on him.
He handled alcohol well but drank way too much, often clandestinely. After work every day, for example, he went to Bill’s Bar and had one martini only. Bill and the regulars admired his restraint. What they didn’t know was that he then went to Sam’s Saloon on the next block and had a couple more. But even Sam’s clientele opined that the man knew how to drink moderately—two martinis and then home to the wife. But often he made a third stop at Tim’s Tavern for a drink or two. So, when he got home, he was sloshed. He handled it so well, though, that his wife didn’t notice. She just thought he was tired from working so hard.
“Would you like a drink, dear,” he would query upon his arrival home, though he certainly did not need one himself.
“Yes, I’ll have a little wine.”
He would go to the pantry, chug a little gin, pour her some wine and make a martini. His martinis were strong as he just waved the cork of a Vermouth bottle over a water glass of straight gin and dropped a few cubes of ice into it. The wife would sip her wine, while he smoked a big cigar, hid behind the evening paper and had a couple more drinks.
Well, this routine caught up with him and he began to feel bad all the time. She urged him to go to the doctor, a family friend, but he declined, until she finally made the appointment for him and insisted he go. Reluctantly, he showed up.
The doctor found nothing much physically wrong except that he could see and smell that the man was drinking too much. He advised him to cut booze out all together or at least to be moderate with it. All the man would say was, “Don’t tell my wife.” The doctor assured him he would not tell.
After the appointment he went to a couple of bars for fortification, wondering what he would tell his wife. On the way home, he passed a music store and saw some sheet music with the bold title, SYNCOPATION. That sounds like a disease, he thought.
“What did the doctor say,” his wife wanted to know as he brought in the evening drinks.
“You know how these doctors are, dear, you can’t tell much about what they say.”
“But did he name your problem. Did he diagnose anything?”
He lit a cigar and hid behind the paper, but she kept up the interrogation.
At length, after a few pulls on his martini, he said, “I have syncopation, dear, and I will just have to live with it. There is not much chance I will get any better.”
She looked it up and the first definition was, “Staggering unevenly from bar to bar.”
He was more honest than he intended to be.